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PENOBSCOT RIVER. 1579—1580. 

XeviKd from the N. B. Historical and Genealogical Register, 'April, 1890. 

□t abate in Ihe le- 

by B. -F. De COSTA. 




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Printed by David Clapf & Soir. 


IN the third volume of '* The Narrative and Critical History of 
America'* (pp. 171 and 186), the writer has stated a few facts 
with respect to Shnon Ferdinando, who, so far as his knowledge 
extends, led the first English expedition to the region now covered 
by the State of Maine, but then known as a part of Norombega. 

Simon Ferdinando was known in connection with Virginia, begin- 
ning with the year 1584. In 1586 he served with White, who 
quarrelled, and loaded him with abuse. * This was echoed by William- 
son, t and emphasized by Dr. Hawkes, J who styled him a " treacherous 
villain " and "contemptible mariner,'* declaring that he was a Span- 
iard hired by his nation to deceive the English colony. Later, 
however, the account of his services under Grenville, 1585, came to 
light, and his faithfulness and skill are highly applauded by Ralph 
Ijane,§ thus relieving his memory from unjust aspersions. It now 
remains to speak of what he accomplished in 1579. 

Simon Ferdinando was a Portuguese, not a Spaniard. There is, 
however, to be had at present only a glimpse of his voyage, which is 
brought to light in one of the papers connected with David Ingram, 
who, with two companions, is believed to have travelled on the Indian 
trails from the Bay of Mexico to Maine during 1567-8, embarking on 
a French ship somewhere near the St. John's River. || The essential 
part of the narrative relating to Ferdinando comprises a few lines : 

" 1579 Simon fferdinaudo Mr. Secretary Walsingham's man went and 
came from the same coast w^in three monthes in the little ffrigate without 
any other consort, and arrived at Dartmouth where he ymbarked when he 
beganne his viage." 

The " said coast " was none other than the region of Norombega, 
the present State of Maine, towards which, at that time, all eyes 
were turned. Certain disconnected events which preceded the voy- 

♦ Hakluyt, III. 280. f Hist. Carolina, I. 63. t Hist. N. Carolina, 1. 196. 

6 Archeohgia Americana, IV. U; and Col. State MSS., I. Aug. 12, 1585. 
II •' Magazine of American History," Vol. IX. 168; "Colonial State Papers." Vol. I. No. 
2, and the Tanner MSS., Bodleian Library, Oxford. 


age of Ferdinando also gain some notice, though of the deta 
the voyage itself nothing can be learned at present. 

It appears that, in 1577, "Simon Ferdinando a Portuguese,' 
called at Cardiff to testify with respect to the piracy of " John C 
and other pirates." Ferdinando says that he sailed with " Cs 
or " Callice, " two years previous as pilot, Callice having " a shi 
Bye prepared to passe to the Indiana," meaning the West In 
and that a Portuguese ship was plundered, though, being sick, hi 
not charged with complicity. He says that they met the Fortu{ 
vessel when "travelling towards America." Some time after, 
dently in 1576, he "bought a little bark," and made a prof 
cruise towards the Canaries. This vessel cost him "forty ma 
and was probably the " little firigate " in which he sailed to 
England. Afterwards he was cast into jail " upon suspicion of 
■eay," though he was liberated and became Secretary "WalsingI 

Upon his return he spears to have been interested in matters 
concerned Frobisher; and, November 7th, 1581, he address 
letter to that adventurer.* The following year, May Ist, he 
mustered as first pilot in the " galleon Leicester "■\ under Fei 
bound to the Moluccas ; also serving as pilot to the Virginia < 
ditions of 1585 and 1587. Ferdinando, according to Lane, 
sessed "grete skylle and grete government," and was a trusty 
With the notice of this voyage, set on foot apparently by Secri 
Walsingham, Simon Ferdinando passes out of sight until 1 
when he sailed to Virginia. Nevertheless he performed his 
and deserves honorable mention amongst those worthies who 
their labors and sacrifices, prepared the way for the occupatic 
New England. J 

of icbom had their mninutinece there, and, thouj^h vieii known, the tom, » [>i^uiiiip ~i 
willing to giTB informftiion. April 3a, of ihatreftr, a Commission eat to examine th 
ter, and on March 17th Ferdinando testified. The Ibltowiiig was drawn by the aotho 
the dingy archives ; 
"The said Simon Bferdinando sayeth that lie fcnoweth Gallic and hath knowen h 

Sace of those three or fonr yeares last past lint he went not to sea w" him Totill 
ese two yearee Sot he sayeth that sbontea Michelmns waa two years the said Call 
for this Exalat then being at London and then declared to the Exalat [Examinant] [I 
Horry Enowles Lsd a ahippat Bye prepared to passe to the Indians and that this 1 
shonld be Pylatt thereof yf he lysled and that the same waa the requeaat of the s: 
Kniiwles, and In deede la that effect the said M' Knowles did speake to this Exaiat ti 
and sayeth that according to that reqnest thia Exiunitiant lake vpon him lo tw Pjlatt 
shipp the said Gallic was M' and one ffcrdinando was Capltaine. 

And we traveling to the aeaa ffor want of wtathcr they laryeii long vpon the cost o; 
land and by reason thereof spent much of their victual and yet In the end trai 
towordes America they met w^ii a Fortingall vpon the costes of the land of Porting^ 
from him ihey toke aboutes 100 chestea of Snpar being part of hia loding andhavelng 
thatpryse they arryed w^ the same at the rode of Fenniarth beayde Cardlef in the C 
of Glaymorgan abootea Allhalowtldc [Nov. 1] last was two yerea the said Callic t 
and fferdinando the Captajne maile salt thereof to divera persons to whome certaii 
knoweth not ftbr he thia £ialat was then and for this tyme the shlpp laye there at ro< 
verry like to have died and more touching the clrcnmstances of that journey he cannt 
saving that they gave (bis esalat tenne ponnds of the commodity they bad by the i 
that aagar. 

The material given in the long extract, appended as a note, is of 
interest, as giving some account of the life of Simon Ferdinando, 
who doubtless possessed many of the characteristics of sailors of that 
period, the best of whom kept a "nice conscience" no more than 
Chaucer's "Shipman," usually being ready for plunder. 

The information came to light in connection with a formal exami- 
nation of David Ingram, which was also the occasion of bringing John 
Walker to notice. We give the papers entire, taking first the 
examination of David Ingram, which is a separate paper from his 
narrative, edited by the present writer.* It will be seen by the side 
remarks of the person who took down the account, that Ingram's 
statements in some places agree with those of " Sir Humphrey Gil- 
bert's man," who, as we shall see, was John Walker, following 
Ferdinando in 1580. But let us proceed with Ingram's case, re- 
membering that early visitors to America were reckless in their 
descriptions and beliefs, — the Popham colonists in Maine, 1607, 
discovering nutmegs ; Henry Hudson finding cliffs shining with 
silver ; one expedition carrying to England a cargo of shining earth, 
thinking it was gold ; while the Pilgrims at Plymouth heard lions in 
the woods, climbing a tree, like Ingram, to escape them : and the 
Dutch in New Netherland discovered unicorns and other strange 
beasts. The statement runs as follows : 

Certeyne questions to be demaunded of Davy Ingram 
sayler dwellinge at Barkinge in the countye of Essex, what 
he observed in his travail one the North side of the ryver of 
May where he remayned three moneths or thereabouts. 

And further this exaiat sayeth that after this exaiat lyin^ long at Cardifife bought a little 
bark of Willm, Herbert Esq' deceased late vice admirall for the w«^ he paied forty marks 
and the same prepared to go to the seas to the Canarries & aboutes a twelyemontb & more 
past furnishing that barck w^^ nyne or tenne men travelling long vpon the seas towards 
that coantrie of the Canarries and retorne again wt^)ut doeing anything but losing their 
Journey their tyme and spending all they hadd and sythens [since] that tyme this exaiat 
hath had no doeing vpon the seas and sayeth that those nyne or tenne men whose names 
are these Christopher Horsham of the Isle of Whight was m' of the shipp who is now de- 
ceased Richard Horsham his Brother Edward Clayes and the rest he sayeth he knoweth 
not their names but they were Englishmen of what countrie he knoweth no : And further 
sayeth that one Richard Aldersay of London was in the former journey in taking the suger 
w^ them but not in this journey. 

Being asked also who did help to furnish his shipp to the Canarries sayeth that one Willm 
Biccards, Robert Adams & John Thomas Bruer, of Cardiffe, did help to furnish the shipp, 
and sayeth that the shipp and all the furniture amounted to the value of CLI. and no bet- 
ter sayeth that lyeing out tenne or twelve weekes w^ the shipp they returned w'JH)ut doeing 
anything as before by reason whereof Richards, Adams ana John Thomas lost their parts 
of their stock without commodity. 

Bat this Journey as he sayeth was taken in hand at the beginning of Maye was twelve- 
month. And further sayeth that after his return home from that journey he was commit- 
ted to the shriefifs gayoll the countie of Glamorganshire by Thomas Lewis Esq' a justice of 
peace vpon suspicion of heressie and there remayned the space of 14 weeks and afterwards 
this Exaiat was bayled by the said Willm Herbert the then vice-admirall and Willm Ma- 
thew Esqr two of the Justices and sayeth that vpon his apprehension being asked certain 
qaestionsof M' Lewis of his two journies he answering the same, and was committed to 
the gayoll by the said M^^ Lewis as before he hath said and after that he was sett at libertie 
as without examination when he was bayled as aforesaid." — Dom. Elizabeth MSS. Vol. 
CXII. S. ii. 

♦ Mag, Am, History^ Vol. IX. 168.— Ingram was put on shore with a large number of 
companions, by Sir John Hawkins. 

* 1 


He hath 1. Imp's faowe loDge the saved Infirram travyled one ye North side oP' 

hetraveUed Ryver of May. 

^^re^ee 2. Ite. whether that country be frutfull, and what kinde of fruts ther^ ^ 

He hath confessed y^ it is excedinge fratef ul and that there is a tre a^^i 
called it a plum ten tree, w*^ of the leaves thereof being pressed will coat^ 
a very excellent lycor as pleasant to drincke and as good, as any kinde o 

8. Ite. what kinde of beasts and cattell he saw there. 

He hath confessed, y^ he sawe A Beast in all points like unto a horse 
savinge he had two longe tusks, of w*'^ beast he was put in great dannge; 
of his lyfe, but he escaped by clyminge a tree. Also that there be wyl( 
horses of goodly shape but the people of the country have not the use o; 

ffurther that there be shepe, w®** beareth redde woole somme tbing< 
course there flesh good to eat, but is very redde. 

4. Ite what kinde of people there be, and how they be aparrelled. 

He hath confessed y* farre into the land there be many people, and thai 
he sawe a towne half a myle longe, and hath many streats farr broader thee 
any streat in London. 

fEurther yt the men gooe naked savinge only the myddell part of then 
covered w'** skynnes of beasts and w*** leaves, And that generallye all mei 
weare about there armes dyvers hoopes of gold and silver w*** are of gooc 
thicknes and lykwyse they weare the lyke about the smale of there legg« 
w*'** hoopes are garnished w*** pearle dyvers of them as bigge as onej 

That the womenne of the countrye gooe apareled w*** plats of gold ovei 

there body much lyke unto an armor about the middest of there bodye they 

weare leafes, w°** hath growinge there one very longe much lyke unto heare. 

and lykwyse about there armes and the smale of there leggs they weare 

S Humfrye hoopes of gold and sylver garnyshed w**^ fayer pearle. 

inan*wchhe ^* 1-te what kind of buildings and houses they have in that country. 

sent to dig- jje hath confessed y* they buyld there bowses round lyke a Dovehouse 

cover vtl&nd j j j v 

reporteth and hath in like manner a louer on the topps of there bowses and that there 
*^erto bT*' ^® naany piUors that upholdeth many things of gold and silver very massye 

buyit in and great and lykewy se many pyllors of Cristall. 
nor ro^de. ^' I^© whether there is any quantitye of gold, silver and pearle and of 
other iewells in that country. 

He hath confessed that there is great aboundance of gold, sylver and pearle 
and that he hath seanne at the heads of dyvers springs and in smale rounninge 
brouks dyvers peaces of gold soume as bigge as his fynger, others as bigge 
as his fyst and peaces of dyvers bignes. 

ffurther that he seanne great aboundance of pearle and dyvers strannge 
SrH.Gyl- stones of what sort or valewe he knewe not. 

^rouirht*©/ ^* ^^^ whether he sawe A beast farre exceydinge an ox in bignes. 

the svds of He hath confessed that there be in that country great aboundance of a 

*^from** kinde of beast almost as bigge agayue as an oxe in shape of body not much 

ttie place he differinge from an oxe, savinge that he hath eares of a great bignes, that 

' are in fashone much like unto the eares of a bloudhound havinge thereon 

very longe heare, and lykwyse on his breast, and other parts of his bodyc 

longe heare. 

ffurther he hath reported of dyvers kinds of wyld beasts whose skynneE 

« John Walker who went out to Norombega in 1580. t lUd. 

are very rich ftirres, lykwyse of dyvere kinds of fputs and trees of great 

That there is a tree w*^^ beareth a friite lyke an aple but is poyson to 
eate for the aple beinge broken there is a blacke lycor in the mydest thereof. 
Also that there is a tree that the barke thereof tasteth lyke pepper. 
Divers other matters of great importannce he hath confessed (yf they be 
true) w*^ he sayeth that upon his lyf e he oflTereth ta go© to* the place, to 
approve the same true. 

ab^ 1584. Questions to be demanded of 

David Ingram concerning his 
knowledge of a discovery.* 

Next may be given a statement of things ^ over & aborve that 
which Ingram upon his examination did Confesse," the statement 
relating to both Ferdinando and Walker and seeming to have been fur- 
nished through Sir Humphrey himself. At least he conferred per- 
sonally with Walker, who was " his man." 

The Reporte of Iteme that haue travelled the afore said Countryes w*** 
the note of the such things as they haue found there, ouer and aboue that 
which Ingram upon his examinacon did confesse, whose names are Verer- 
zanus, Jaques Cartier, John Barros, Andrewe Thevett,t John Walker of 
w**^ number S" Humfrey Gylbert did conferre in person with the three last 

1579 Simon fferdinando M' Secretary Walsinghams man went and came 
to and from the said coast w'^^in three months in the little ffrigate w**'out 
any other consort, and arryved at Dartmouth where he ymbarked when he 
. begaune his viage. 

X . > Note 
^^^^f 1580. 

John Walker Englishman and his Company did discover, a siluer mine 
w*Mn the Riuer of Norambega, on the North shore upon a hill not farre 
from the riuere side about IX leagues from the mouth thereof where he 
founde the said riuer VII leagues or thereabout ouer and XVIII fadome 
and hanlf deepe. The riuer at the mouth beinge about X leagues broade, 
and XXV fadome deepe w*^out barre. 

And the said riuer to holde that his breadthe so much farther then he 
was as he coulde possibly keune, beinge by estimacon about XX miles. 

The Country was most excellent both for the soyle, diuersity of sweete 
woode and other trees. Who also founde at the same time in an Indian 
house VII miles w^'^in the lande from the ryvers side aboue IIP drye hides, 
whereof the most parte of them were eighteene foote by the square. 

Both he and his Company sayled from the said Coast into Englande in 
XVII dayes.t 

That the said coast was the region lying south of Nova Scotia 

♦ Col. State Papersy Dom, Elizabeth, Vol. 175, No. 95. Public Record Office, London. 

t Thevet, the writer has endeavored to prove, never saw New England, and described 
it only throngh the relations of others. — See " The Northmen in Maine." 

X Col. State Papersy Vol. I. No. 2. — Public Record Office, London. Many of the old 
stories about silver have failed; this by Walker is vindicated by the fact that silver mining 
is now a recognized industry around the Penobscot region, where new mines are being 
opened. Gold is also found in paying quantities ; while the pearl oyster formerly abounded 
in New England waters, the Pilgrims finding pearls at Cape Cod in 1620. 


there can be no doubt. This is apparent from the account of wh 
followed, which it may be well to state briefly. 

It appears that, in 1580, Sir Humphrey had been obliged i 
transfer his patent to lands in the new world, but, nevertheless, 1 
sent out an expedition that year, under Walker, as his full stat< 
ment already quoted under that date proves. Still he was dete; 
mined not to withhold himself from enterprise, while we read in D; 
Dee's Diary, under July 16, 1582, this entry : 

" A meridie hor 3 J cam Sir George Peckham to me to know tl 
tytle of Norombega in respect of Spayn and Portugall."* The fo! 
lowing year Gilbert once more sailed. March 11th, Aldworth, Mayc 
of Bristol, William Salteme and others, whose families were aftei 
ward connected with efforts in New England, agreed to furnish 
ship of sixty and a bark of forty tons, " to be left in the country^ 
under Mr. Carlisle, who probably did not go,f though the two vessel 
seem to have been included in the fleet of five sail. At the la£ 
moment, Spanish influence nearly succeeded in keeping Sir Humphre 
at home. England again felt the baneful power that delayed th 
voyage of Verrazano. The Bull of Alexander was still a power, 
and the Armada was already foreshadowed. Clearing himself of th 
charge of piracy, brought by Spanish spies. Sir Humphrey got t^ 
sea, June 11th. Ralegh's ship was obliged to put back, on account 
of sickness amongst the crew, but the rest went on, reaching New 
Foundland July 30th. August 5th, Gilbert took formal possession 
in the name of the Queen, and one ship was despatched to England. 
Still, as the Patent required actual possession in the region of New 
England, he sailed southward, and, August 27th, reached the 
latitude of 44° N. The next evening was fair, and, "like the swanne 
that singeth before her death ," those in the Admiral sounded trumpets 
and indulged in merriment. But the next day a storm arose, and 
the Admiral was lost upon a shoal near Sable Island with nearly all 
her crew. There now remained only the " Hind " and the " Squer- 
rell," a "little frigate" of twelve tons, and but few supplies. Sir 
Humphrey did not deem it prudent to sail farther south, and accord- 
ingly shaped his course for home. Though admonished of the risk 
he ran in trusting himself to the frigate, he proceeded in this over- 
laden craft, the deck covered with nets and artillery, to recross the 
Atlantic, whose waves were already smitten by the autumnal gales. 

When north of the Azores they met with much bad weather " and 
terrible seas, breaking short and high pyramid wise." Then 
when night came, the sailors on the great ship, the Hind, saw the 
fire of St. Elmo playing upon one end of the main yard, which, 
when it appears double, is an auspicious sign that the "seamen doe 
call Castor and Pollux " ; " but," it is added, " we had only owe," 

♦ Diary, p. 8. Bid, 16. Hakluyt III. 170. 

t iWrf, p. 182, and Read's " Henry Hudson." 

X Records of Privy CoancU in Edwards's " Life of Ralegh," 1. 78. 


and accordingly they accepted it as a sign of doom. Nevertheless, 
Sir Humphrey was as strong of heart as ever, and we read : " Munday 
the ninth of September, in the afternoon, the Frigat was neere cast 
away, oppressed by waves, yet at that time recovered : and giving 
forth signes of ioy, the Generall sitting abaft with a booke in his 
hand, cried unto us in the Hind (so oft as we did approch within 
hearing) We are as neere to heaven by sea as by land. Reiterating 
the same speech, well beseeming a souldier, resolute in Jesus Christ, 
as I can testifie he was." Still the Knight was engaged in his last 
adventure, and his brave heart could not save him from the sea. 
Hence we read again, that "the same Monday night, aboute twelve 
of the clocke, or not long after, the Frigat being ahead of vs in the 
Gk)lden Hinde, suddenly her lights were out, whereof as it were in a 
moment, we lost the light, and withall our watch cryed, the Generall 
was cast away, which was too true. For at that moment the frigate 
was devoured and swallowed vp by the Sea." We are to notice, 
however, that he had intended to colonize in the region described by 
Verrazano, and it was this region that Hays referred to as a country 
extending northward from Florida, "lying vnder very temperate 
Climes."* Clarke also says that they were " going for the discovery 
of Norumbega."t The Mayor of Bristol spoke more definitely in 
his reply to Walsingham, "concerning a Western voyage intended 
for the discovery of the coast of America lying to the south-west of 
Cape Briton." 

There were those who favored this expedition for other than 
mercantile considerations. Christopher Carlile, the person nominated 
by Aid worth to go out with the two ships furnished by himself and 
fHends, in advocating a Colony during the April preceding the 
voyage, associated New England colonization with the exercise of 
a religion not to be enjoyed elsewhere in foreign parts by British 
subjects. He says : 

" And to the godly minded it hath this comfortable commoditie, that in this 
trade their factours, bee they servants or children, shall have no instruction 
or confessions of Idolatrous Religion enforced upon them, but contrarily 
shall be at their free libertie of Conscience, and shall find the same 
Religion exercised, which is most agreeable to their parents and masters."! 

The particular site had in view for the colony has already been 
pointed out ; and Carlile says : " But who shall look into the qualities 
of this voyage, being directed to the latitude of fortie degrees or there- 
aboutes, of that hithermost part of America shal find it has as many 
points of good moment belonging vnto it, as may almost be wished 
for."§ He then speaks of the shortness and safety of the voyage, 
which could be made with a single wind at all times of the year. 

♦ Hakluyt III. 143; lUd, 173. 
t Ihid, 182. 

♦ Hakluyt III. 184. The Plymouth Colonists had no more advanced ideas of religious 
liberty than this. 

$ Ibid, 184. 

So confident were the members of Gilbert's expedition of succet^ 
that the learned Hungarian, Stephanus Parmenius Budeius, " Mast: 
of Arts and Philosophie," and the '* friend & brother" of Hakluj^ 
was taken in the enterprise, expressly to record the high proceedin 
of the intended Norombega colony in Latin Verse ; as the subje^^ 
would be adorned with " the eloquent stile of the Orator and ray^ 
Poet of our time."* But this was not to be. Parmenius, of Buda, 
found a watery grave at the wreck of the Admiral, and Norombega 
remained unsung. 

This excursion is made into the period which follows Ferdinando 
and Walker, to indicate the more distinctly the situation of Norom- 
bega, for while some had their attention fixed upon the latitude of 
the Hudson, these two navigators had distinctly in view the region 
lying around the great river which appears in a long series of ancient 
maps, and which was none other than the Penobscot, to which, as 
already said, Simon Ferdinando the Portuguese led the first known 
English expedition. 

We have next to turn to John Walker and note the abiding faith 
of Gilbert in the promise of the new land. Circumstances had 
forced him to transfer his Patent, but he succeeded in sending out a 
little pjirty to make observations and engage in trade. The voyage 
made at his instance had for its destination the Maine coast, and the 
agent employed was one John Walker, afterwards perhaps a clergy- 
man of the English Church. We have seen that a marginal entry in a 
manuscript in the State Paper Office, already given, runs as follows : 
" Sir H. Gilbert's man brought of the syds of this beast from the 
place he discovered. "f The beast referred to was of the kind men- 
tioned in the examination of David Ingram, of 1582, and the voy- 
age of discovery was one of recent date. A careful examination 
shows that the year 1580 was the only one in which such a discovery 
could have been made for Gilbert, while under that year we have, 
through Sir Humphrey, the voyage which answers the description, 
the John Walker referred to having made a voyage to Norombega, 
where he obtained the " syds " or hides. 

In speaking of rivers, the old voyagers seldom made any distinction 
between the estuary and the river proper. This was clearly the case 
in the present instance by Walker, who does not appear to have been a 
navigator ; but the rough estimate agrees sufficiently well with the map 
of the Coast Survey, which gives a width of twenty-one miles to 
the entrance of Penobscot Bay, between the Isle au Haut and 
White Head. But the old sailors, in the absence of surveys, might 
include the distance between White Head and Deer Island, which 
would correspond to the computation of Walker, who made the 
Norombega ten leagues wide at its entrance. There is also room 
for his estimate of seven leagues in width, nine leagues in, as well 

♦ Hakluy t III. 156. Specimens of his *• stile " may be found in Hakluyt III. 138. 
t AtUe, page 6. 


as abundance of deep water. Beyond question it was the Penobscot 
that he had in mind, and actually visited, as the Norombega River. 
It is so well known that the Penobscot was acccepted at that period 
as the Noromhega, that it would be idle to argue the question. 
Champlain and Lescarbot, in the following century, never doubted 
this, though they were disappointed upon finding no evidence of the 
City, which, perhaps, was never anything more than an Indian 
village carrying on a trade with the French and English in peltry. 
The French had other trading places, and notably, that of Boston 
Harbor and the Charles River, as John Smith testifies, and evidences 
of their occupation may yet be established ; but, nevertheless, the 
Norombega will probably be identified with the noble Penobscot.* 

This voyage of Walker, so thoroughly attested as to leave no doubt 
with regard to its performance, had express reference to the plans 
of Sir Humphrey, which the latter proceeded to execute in 1583. 
It is not indicated that Walker was the navigator of the expedition, 
though he may have been. At all events he represented Sir Ferdi- 
nando, and probably was a layman like Robert Salterne, supercargo 
of Pring in 1603, and who afterwards became a clergyman of the Es- 
tablishment. At any rate. Walker the commercial man in search of 
** Hyds *' disappears after the voyage, while Walker the clergyman 
appears immediately as a chaplain upon the high seas. A manu- 
script that might have given light on the subject has been injured by 
fire.f Still we may|[noticQ that, June 23, 1583, Fenton speaks of 

* We may here append a translation made from the manuscript of Jehan Allefonsee in 
the Bibliotheque Nationale^ Paris, who was on this coast in 1542, and describes Norombega 
and its Riyer, though like the most of the accounts of that period, it is two degrees out 
of the way in latitude. In his estimate of the river, it will be seen he takes in all the water 
from. White Head to Mount Desert. He says : ** The River is more than forty leagues wide 
at its entrance, and retains its width some thirty or forty leagues. It is full of Islands, 
which stretch some ten or twelve leagues into the sea, and are very dangerous on account 
of rocks and shoals. The said river is in 42 N. L. Fifteen leagues within this river there 
is a town called Norombega, with clever inhabitants, who trade in furs of all sorts ; the 
towns folk are dressed in furs, wearing sable. I question whether the said river enters 
the Hochelaga. For more than forty leagues it is salt water, at least so the town folk say. 
The people use many words which sound like Latin. They worship the sun. They are 
tall and handsome in form. The land of Norombega lies high and is well situated." This, 
every visitor to this stately and imposing region knows to be true; but the ** Latin " came 
of the old disposition to follow phonetic resemblance. 

t In the Cotton MSS. British Museum (Otho E. VIII. fol. 130) is a letter by Walker to the 
Earl of Leicester, written when at the point of sailing. Owing to the ravages of the fire 
it is more or less undecipherable, but the best possible version is appended. The blank 
spaces show where the edges of the manuscript were burned oflf :— 

" Barnes w^^ d me w*^ greate frendlynesse 

a ever bounden vnto yo^ L for sendinge m synce my 

depture fro the courte, I have byn have taken instytutyd and inductvon into 

the . . . fyllacke whyche her Ma^* bestowed vp6 me, and .... for, to'S^ John 
Arundell : The Byshopp shewed .... curtesye he myghte : and assured me of his 
frend Fship?] he knowethe that it was her Matie« to geve, whe .... it graunted : my 
moste humble sute vnto yo' good .... yo' L would be a meanes vnto her Ma^e that 

I dyspensed w*i^ to keepe my lyving vntyll I returne fro the indyans : M' 

Cudworthe wyll bringe yor L the . . . to be assygned, y^^ M^ Secratary wyll procure 

at ... L fyrst wrot yo, for yf 1 may have my poore lyvinge my cominge 

agayne, I shall thinke my selfe well satisfy . . . . I am now somewhat in debte, and 
the pfytt thereof (the tyme of my absence) wyll dyscharge the same, to the greate quyett- 
ness of my c6scyence. And for my selfe bothe harte and hande I wyll cotynue and ever 
remayne as faythfuU a s'rvaunte as ever yo' L had in s'rvice : 

Whereof I hope yo* L shall have good experyence yf ever I returne The allmyghtye 


John Walker as chaplain to the Earl of Leicester, though he wen 
as Chaplain with Fen ton* in the attempted expedition to the Moluccas 
He was a member of the Council of Advice, and was attached t 
the "Edward. "t The expedition sailed, and in February, 1584 
Walker was taken sick. The journal contains the following entry 
" The 5 day about 10. aclocke in the forenoone M. Walker died 
who had bene weake and sicke. The bloodie flixe 6. dayes, we 
tooke a view of his things, and prised them, and heaved him over 
board, and shot a peece for his knell.":]: 

Walker was evidently a humane man, using his influence to hea 
dissensions in the ill-starred expedition, and preventing the admira 
from exercising great cruelty. 

Thus, tossing upon the waves of the lonely Southern Sea, he, wh< 
probably was the explorer of Norombega in 1580, died, and there h( 
found his burial. But his influence did not perish with him. Thi 
knowledge which he acquired went to swell the sum of Sir Hum 

Ehrey Gilbert's information, and helped to spur him on to undertake 
is last voyage, or, otherwise, to lure him on to death ; for, knigh 
and priest. Sir Humphrey Gilbert and " his man " found a commoi 
sepulture in the sea. 

Gilbert, in turn, was followed by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, wh( 
set his hand with great strength to the work of New England colo 
nization, of which he became the more immediate founder. Si: 
Ferdinando, however, was under great obligations to such men ai 
those who led the way to Maine in 1579-80 ; while the Pilgrims o 
Leyden, who were directed to Plymouth in 1620 by the employeeu 
of Gorges, were in turn indebted to Walker and his associates for 
the greeting they received from the chief Samoset, friend of Gorges, 
who exclaimed " Welcome, Englishmen 1 ^ 

God p'serve yo^ L in most happye estate to his giorye & yo^ L hartes desyre. Sonthe- 
hampto this xxjjjti^ of Apryll : 1582. 

Y^ honorable L most boonden 

s'yannte John Walkes. 

May it please yo^ L to geve me leave farther to adyertyse yo>^ L: that the ryghte worshypp- 
ftill S^ Frauncys Drake hathe ysed me w^ the greateste irendeshyppe that any myghto 
desyre : bothe in instmctinge me in the yoyage and in dealinge Ivberallye w^ me and mj 
fellowe preacher : for the whyche I beseche y o' L geye him thankes 

[Addressed:] To the ryghte honorable my 

Singular good Laud M' the 
erle of Ley cester geve these." 
♦ MSS. in British Museum, Otho Vm. f. 87. 
t Sloane MSS. No. 2146, f. 73, and Otho VUI. fols. 142 and 179-200. 
t Hakluy t, Vol. HI. p. 767. Otho, f. 140. 

Le,td*= specified.^, | 

' Please return I 

► r 

- JUN I 2 1996